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Treadmill at very high incline but holding on to the control panel

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I see people at the gym setting the treadmill at a very high incline and holding on to the control panel /treadmill while walking. 

Doesn't this reduce the amount of calories burned? But is it still challenging the leg muscles since the incline is so high? I always thought that holding on to the treadmill while walking reduces the amount of calories burned and would offset the additional calories that could be burned by setting a high incline

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I don't know the answer to your question, but I do know that you shouldn't judge others and definitely don't offer advice unless asked to. Without knowing their goals and history it's impossible for you to judge appropriately. Maybe this person holding the rails at a very high incline is following advice from a physiotherapist after a specific type of injury, or maybe they recently broke their toe, or maybe they just finished a 10 mile swim and came to the gym to move their muscles in a non-specific way to just keep moving. Their goals aren't yours so their methods might be different from yours. Don't judge.

Original Post by herbaltea:

I don't know the answer to your question, but I do know that you shouldn't judge others and definitely don't offer advice unless asked to. 

Good advice.

Wait, i thought advice wasn't supposed to given unless asked..?  Tongue out

To Puyi, yes, it reduces the work being done, which reduces calories burned.  It can also cause orthopedic problems if done regularly.  Occasionally it's warranted to hold on to treadmills, but for the average person, it's not the best way to train on a regular basis.  More here /a/treadmillhold.htm

Cherimoose, thank you for your reply!  I appreciate it, that's exactly what I needed to know.

I can't believe they're able to get em so high. When I jog at only 3 degrees it feels like I'm 50 lbs. heavier. The girl I saw a few days ago was at 15!

Well you're obviously still moving and burning calories, but yes the burn would be less. You're also not using your core muscles as much-- which is the reason running/walking rocks in the first place, so it's rather dumb to make the movement easier and challenge less muscle groups. You're also taking the stress away from the legs/core and moving it to the shoulders, back, and forearms... and not really in a good way. 

A general rule of thumb is that if you feel the need to hold onto the hand rails than the incline is either too high, or the speed is too high, or both. Either reduce the speed or the incline to sustainable levels-- or do intervals. But you should never have to hold the rails for long periods of time. If you feel you have to hold on then you are at a very unsafe speed/incline for your fitness level, and you're increasing your chance of injury. 

The only time I hold the hand rails is when I'm a complete nut job and do my Tabata training on a high incline-- sprint for 20 seconds, jump off onto the rails and rest for 10 seconds, repeat a total of 8 times (4 minutes)-- intense workout!

Herbal Tea, Don't get your panties in a twist.  The question was asked so that the person would understand if holding on would lower your calories or not.  That's all.  Why did you go on a rant?  Have a bad day?  Have a cup of herbal tea and relax.

I do it out of habit (sort of fear of falling off this contraption type thing, when I first started using it), I know I shouldn't, I hate I do it and I try to stop when I catch myself. My biggest thing cause I walk, I can't run and hold, is I zone out. I prefer to have them outside but sometimes treadmill is easier for me (social phobic issues), but my walks are my time type thing no one really interrupts my workouts/walking unlike when I am doing anything else, so I go into 'la-la-land'. I think about: my workout plan/routine, my goals, my eating or I just think about random things and get off tra-"ACK, I was holding those darn bars again, grrr" *eyeroll*. :P On a better note today's session was 90%+ hands free :P

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I have an inner ear disease which makes it a must to hold on.

I know it reduces the calories but I can either hold on on a treadmill or walk down the street with a walker.... either way, I am holding on to something.


Original Post by cherimoose:

Good advice.

Wait, i thought advice wasn't supposed to given unless asked..?  

ha! well i've been schooled! lesson learned. :D

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I always incline to the max but need to rest my hands on the bars or else I'll topple over. Or when I'm really high put my hands out infront of me. I hope this doesn't result in a loss of caps burned

You know, I wonder the same thing all the time! But good timing because just yesterday I read an article about how that's bad for your posture and that if its done often then it could change the way you walk and not in the good way. 

However, everyone does it for a reason. I know when I walk on an incline I like to make sure I'm getting good cardio so I put my hand on the sensors to check that I'm at the optimal cardio heart rate.

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